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About the Author

Benjamin Labatut was born in Rotterdam in 1980 and grew up in The Hague, Buenos Aires and Lima. When We Cease to Understand the World, his first book to be translated into English, was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize. Labatut lives with his family in Santiago, Chile.


'In fictionalising the history of the atomic bomb, Labatut has landed on a chilling way to dramatise our contemporary fears. Science Fiction-tinged nightmares about new nuclear threats and an alien, self-learning system of intelligence are made both more real and understandable through the voices of the people who gave birth to them' -Literary Review

'If you've yet to sample Labatut, stop wasting time. Get on the Labatut train.' - BookMunch

'Talent, ambition, skill, intelligence - [are] present in abundance.' - Guardian, Book of the Day

'Captivating' - Irish Times

'Thrilling - and chilling [...] A gripping read.' - Marie Claire, Best Books of 2023

'A dark, strange novel by a rising literary star' - New Scientist

'Intoxicating... this marvel of a book, which inspires awe and dread in equal measure, is stalked by the greatest terrors of the 20th century, yet its final heart-stopping sentence makes clear the greatest terrors are yet to come' - Daily Mail

'As addictive as a true crime tale' - Mail on Sunday

'Absorbing... perfect for anyone thirsting for more nuclear anxiety after watching Oppenheimer... reads like the physicist Carlo Rovelli crossed with the cosmic horror of HP Lovecraft' - Chris Power, Sunday Times

'Both entertains and provokes... [Labatut's] infernal vision of science captures something of the unsettling vertigo of living right here in the Anthropocene after all' - TLS

'Emerging as the most significant South American writer since Borges... there is no one writing like him anywhere in the world' - Interview in the Telegraph

'Brilliantly cerebral'- 5* Sunday Telegraph
'Praise for' - When We Cease to Understand the World:

'A monstrous and brilliant book' - Philip Pullman

'Mesmerising and revelatory' - William Boyd

'Ingenious, intricate and deeply disturbing' - John Banville

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